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Understanding the basics of Bancor

August 27, 2017
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Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to figure out what Bancor is and how it works in 5 mins? Unfortunately with anything new, it takes a little longer. Follow me on my journey of figuring out how Bancor really works. Lets start with the obvious I went to their website and found a neat definition. Bancor Protocol is a standard for a new generation of cryptocurrencies called Smart Tokens Ok. So it’s a new way to create cryptocurrencies but, what is it really? It’s like defining a plane as “A mechanism to travel the world and realise your dreams”. Sure but again, what is it really? A bit further down there’s more meat. The Bancor protocol enables built-in price discovery and a liquidity mechanism for tokens on smart contract blockchains. These “smart tokens” hold one or more other tokens in reserve and enable any party to instantly purchase or liquidate the smart token in exchange for any of its reserve tokens, directly through the smart token’s contract, at a continuously calculated price, according to a formula which balances buy and sell volumes. The funny thing is, I actually understand this definition and it’s pretty accurate, but only after spending 3 days reading the […]
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Claiming your bitcoin cash with Electron Cash Desktop Wallet

August 25, 2017
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In my previous experiment I used Bitcoin ABC to claim my fractions of my bitcoin cash. This involved downloading the entire blockchain which took over 4 days. The Electron wallet is obviously much faster because it does not need to download the entire blockchain. If you have an Airbitz wallet, the instructions at https://medium.com/airbitz/how-do-i-get-my-bitcoin-cash-from-airbitz-e97982e3fc4c are very good. It takes a bit of time but it works. If you see this error, it just means you are using the wrong address. The software is fine, your BCH are fine and all is well. Just figure out the right address to claim your bitcoin cash from. The most difficult part is the manual typing out of your private key from the Airbitz wallet mobile app. Everything else is straight forward.
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“No inputs found. (Note that inputs need to be confirmed)” error when claiming your bitcoin cash

August 23, 2017
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If you are trying to redeem your bitcoin cash and you come across this error message in Electron Cash, it means that you are redeeming from an address after 1 August 2017. Check the address of the private key you are importing and back track to a transaction that dates prior to 1 August 2017.    
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Sweeping your Bitcoin paper wallet for Bitcoin Cash

August 20, 2017
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If you have a paper wallet, and you haven’t yet claimed your free Bitcoin Cash then read on. There maybe easier ways but I wanted to experiment with the Bitcoin ABC Wallet. You can download the latest release from https://www.bitcoinabc.org It is recommended to install this onto a new machine that hasn’t previously had any bitcoin wallet client installed. This is because of the potential conflict of the data directory. Once installed, the next step is to let the software do it’s thing. ie download the blockchain. For me it took about 4 days! Once done, I then had to run a very simple command. Navigate to Help > Debug window and type in > importprivkey TypeYourPrivateKeyHere What happens next is that you have to wait some more. Bitcoin-Qt will re-scan the entire blockchain. This time it only takes a few hours. After it has finished, you should see your expected balance, ie the equivalent number of how ever many bitcoins you had appear as bitcoin cash.   If you have a mobile wallet and have a seed (12/18/24 words) as a backup, download this code: https://github.com/iancoleman/bip39. What it does is convert BIP39 mnemonic phrases (the 12/18/24 words) to addresses […]
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Multibit bitcoin wallet is no longer supported

August 15, 2017
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If you haven’t already heard, the bitcoin wallet MultiBit is no longer supported. Check out the announcement here. I was having issues back in late May and tried to move some funds out. It took just over 2 weeks for the transaction to be confirmed using the default fee setting! This blog link provides instructions on how to move to an Electrum wallet. Electrum was a good wallet for a while. It then started getting buggy and I had to keep going to Manage wallet > Repair wallet just to get the correct amount showing. You need the seed in order to move the funds to Electrum. If you DO NOT have the seed but you still have access to the wallet, create a new wallet in MultiBit, write down the seed and then empty the funds from the first wallet to the second wallet. Here is how: Create a new wallet using the Create button on the Unlock screen when you first open the wallet. Make sure you write down your wallet words and date stamp as usual Unlock the new wallet and wait for sync to finish Rename the wallet to Wallet2 for example. Create a new receiving […]
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Signing up at Cryptopia from a newbie’s perspective

August 10, 2017
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I decided to sign up with Cryptopia today in an effort to understand more about how trading platforms work. The experience was ok but the messaging could be improved to make it more accurate and consistent. Mixed messages Registering on the site is easy. In order to buy cryptocurrencies with New Zealand dollars though, I had to make a bank transfer. One also has to know that you are actually “buying” NZDT, otherwise known as a New Zealand Dollar Token. It’s a 1 for 1 swap which you then use to purchase other cryptocurrencies. There is a warning at the top of the deposit screen saying: But then at the bottom it says: So it’s contradicting information. Not a good thing for a newbie. So I click on the “here” link to apply for level 2 verification and get this screen here (I’ve only screenshot the top part): Now, I’m thinking I’m confirmed for a withdrawal limit of $5000 NZD. I don’t need Level 2 verification because the message there says “Users that have provided evidence of their identification have daily limit of $50,000.00 NZD”. I won’t be anywhere near $50,000 so I’m thinking Level 1 is fine. My bank […]
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Wellington Blockchain Meetup August 2017

August 9, 2017
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After an interesting couple of weeks where the invention of another bitcoin, BitcoinCash or BCH arrived on the scene, the Wellington community turned out to talk bitcoin and blockchains again. It was another good solid turn out where just under 50 people participated with around 70% of them first timers which was great to see. Sean presented a project where he learnt how to write “stuff” to the blockchain and read data back out. This was put into a use case in the accounting concept where if transactions are done on the blockchain, which means the data is on the blockchain, then why don’t we do accounting on the blockchain? Next, Paul from BlockchainLabs shared the work they are doing with Xero and bitcoin integration. Then our main speaker was beamed in from Palmerston North. Bruce Thomson gave a great entertaining and humorous talk about his crypto adventures much of which you can read here. His talk was met with laughter at some of the crazy things he did. Depositing money for “furniture”, getting stuck between a rock (Inland Revenue) and a hard place (his accountant), and sleeping on the floor on the night bus from Auckland back down to […]
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Meeting Bruce Thomson

August 5, 2017
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In preparation for next weeks meeting where we’ll be beaming in Bruce Thomson as a guest speaker to the Wellington Blockchain meetup we pre-tested the technology and connectivity. What was suppose to be a short 10 minute test ended up as an amazing 60 minute conversation where Bruce talked about his background working as a contractor in his earlier years and being prudent enough to buy gold as part of his portfolio, his ah ha moment when he saw the shift from using slide rules to a 4 function calculator and his interest in Singularity. Bruce talked about the 6 D’s of technology distruption. Digitization, deception, disruption, demonetization, dematerialization, and democratization and how cryptocurrencies follow the same pattern. Bruce also shared some amazing stories trying to convert his gold to cash in order to buy crypto and how he actually bought the crypto. Here is his article for some background reading: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/92329364/palmerston-north-retiree-makes-a-mint-ditching-gold-for-cryptocurrency Look forward to his talk next Tuesday. If you are in the area, feel free to drop by. Details at: https://www.meetup.com/Blockchain-Wellington/events/242044728/  
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Revolutionizing Accounting on the Blockchain

August 1, 2017
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A small project I’ve been working on. I’ll be presenting this at the Wellington Blockchain meetup on the 8th August 2017. https://www.meetup.com/Blockchain-Wellington/events/242044728/  
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Accounting on the blockchain for SME

July 24, 2017
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I had an idea to give the accounting industry a little tickle up so did a bunch of some research and found out there wasn’t much on accounting on the blockchain. There’s a lot of fluff from the “big four” that uses big words like “hash” and “consensus algorithms” along with mentions of single, double and even triple entry accounting but nothing of real substance. What do accounting applications such as Xero, MYOB, Sage and Intuit actually do? Fundamentally they take transaction data as an input (manually entered, scanned receipts with optical character recognition or bank feeds) and produce nice pretty reports and the ability to create invoices and perform reconciliations as well. Many of them have wonderful extra features such as payroll and inventory management but let’s just keep things simple and ignore this for now. Accountants use these applications to perform tasks such as submitting tax returns and understanding the financial health of a company. Again, a simplistic view and we’re talking SMEs here. (Small to Medium Enterprise). Now imagine the day when your local supermarket accepts bitcoins or any other form of cryptocurrency. Imagine getting paid in bitcoins and paying your suppliers in bitcoins. Current thinking and […]
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Siacoin blockchain directory

July 14, 2017
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For reference, if you are on OSX, the working directory for Siacoin is ~/Library/Application Support/Sia-UI For Windows, its under C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Sia-UI What’s the current blocksize? It’s just under 6Gb.
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Wellington Blockchain Meetup July 2017

July 12, 2017
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Just under 70 people turned out on a cold winters night at Bizdojo to the Wellington blockchain meetup on Wednesday night. It was the meetup’s biggest turn out to date. This month was a little different with Mark Pascall giving a detailed talk on “A beginners guide to wallets, buying bitcoin/ether and trading tokens”. Stephen Nicholas chipped in around taxation as well. It was just under 90 minutes covering all sorts of topics ranging from the different types of cryptocurrency wallets, to exchanges, tokens and ICOs. There were great questions and also valuable contributions from audience members. In particular, beware of scammers that buy domain names with slightly different spelling to legitimate exchanges and ask for users private keys. Thanks to BizDojo and BlockchainLabs once again!
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So you wanna put Chinese pork on the blockchain?

July 6, 2017
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When I see headlines like Walmart and IBM Are Partnering to Put Chinese Pork on a Blockchain I’m thinking, sorry, but how do you put Chinese pork on the blockchain? And it’s not just limited to food. Electronic Medical Records on the Blockchain is big news also. Let’s now add to the confusion and track beef with a cryptocurrency instead of a blockchain. Russia Gets First Sanctioned Cryptocurrency – And It’s Tracking Beef What does all this mean? Studying the blockchain has led me to understand that small bits of information can be included in a transaction. Think of it like adding a custom message when sending a small amount of, in this case, bitcoins. This article will first look at how one can add a custom message on the blockchain, specifically the bitcoin blockchain, and then figure out how it relates to Chinese pork. OP_RETURN The first thing to understand is that a blockchain is made of blocks and blocks are made of transactions. This is what a transaction looks like. In hex: Expanded it looks like this: Inside a transaction there are fields called op codes that are used to put rules in place to determine who can […]
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Bitcoin Vanity Addresses

June 29, 2017
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Introduction These have been around for a long time now but they are still nonetheless pretty neat. They are called vanity addresses because you can create a bitcoin address with certain starting letters that spell out words such as your name or your brand. What does a bitcoin address look like? A bitcoin address is like a bank number. You give it or show it to people who then use it to send you bitcoins, litecoins, ether or whatever crypto currency you prefer. Wallets create these addresses randomly and a sample bitcoin address looks like this: mr4WeSWGzg8ND2qbpvKJqq2LgMq3HfB6EW This is an address from testnet, which is a test blockchain for development. You can see the transaction history at: https://tbtc.blockr.io/address/info/mr4WeSWGzg8ND2qbpvKJqq2LgMq3HfB6EW which shows that 0.2btc has been sent to this address. Again, the 0.2 btc are not real so not worth anything. What does a bitcoin vanity address look like? For those who want to get fancy, they can create addresses such as: 1appleWGzg8ND2qbpvKJqq2LgMq3HfB6EW or 1microsoft8ND2qbpvKJqq2LgMq3HfB6EW It makes the address stand out and a little unique hence the name vanity addresses. Things to consider Generating vanity addresses with more than 7 letters can take years. This is because the computer goes through all the […]
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Bitcoin hanging at the “done loading” screen?

June 28, 2017
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If you are trying to run bitcoin core (download from here) and you see it hanging on this screen … hold tight. It takes time to load. If you are impatient like me, open up the debug.log file and you’ll see the activity behind the scenes which might make you feel better. By the way, the blockchain is 140Gb and counting.
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Bitcoin Exchanges in NZ

June 27, 2017
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Here is a neat site that list some, if not all of the bitcoin exchanges in New Zealand. https://www.bitcoinexchange.co.nz There are a handful of proper exchanges. The others are either shut down or use Localbitcoins under the hood.
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Mega Bancor Review

June 20, 2017
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Here is a great detailed write up on Bancor and what they do. Also make note to read the discussions below as well as other points of views are given. http://hackingdistributed.com/2017/06/19/bancor-is-flawed/  
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Wellington Blockchain Meetup June 2017

June 15, 2017
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The June Wellington Blockchain meetup was held last night at BizDojo with a great turn out of about 55 people. What was interesting was that about 40 of them were first timers which was amazing to see.   Mark (organizer NZ blockchain conference) kicked things off with a summary of the event and noted that slides and videos are slowly being updated on www.theblockchain.nz website so keep checking there. Klaus also shared some ICO and smart contract work that he has been doing. It was valuable to hear of actual hands on experience with ICOs. Next, James, a Wellington Blockchain stalwart who’s been to almost every one since the beginning shared his blockchain reading list with the rest of the group which was very useful. Reading a proper book beats reading 100 blog posts hands down because a story is fully developed instead of getting piece wise information. Paul contributed by announcing an idea of an informal meetup over a drink after work in between these formal monthly meetups which was a great idea. Instead of meeting only 12 times a year, it’s 24 now! Keep an eye out for the next announcement for this informal meetup. Finally Sean moderated […]
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The Killer App: Engineering the Properties of Money

June 11, 2017
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Andreas keynoting at the NZ Blockchain Conference on the 8th of May 2017. Fundamental concepts: MoE, SoV and UoA. Medium of Exchange, Store of Value and Unit of Accounting. Watch on!
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Wellington Blockchain Meetup June 2017 Announced

June 7, 2017
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The next Wellington Blockchain meet up will be on 15th June 2017 at Bizdojo. It looks like with the price of various crypto currencies on the rise, the inevitable discussion around trading cannot be ignored. We’ll be starting to talk more about the basics of trading, how to buy crypto currencies more and more over the coming months. Check out the link below for further details.   Wellington Blockchain Meetup Thursday, Jun 15, 2017, 5:30 PM Bizdojo115 Tory Street Wellington, NZ 50 Members Attending Hey guys,Let’s get together to chat about bitcoins, blockchains and smart contracts. It doesn’t matter what your background is. If you are interested and what to learn more, have questions that you want answered or want to meet with others in this industry then come along. All welcome.In this meet up (in the S-Zone with the bean bags):5:30 pm: W… Check out this Meetup →
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